by Jess Buskirk
Vanity mirrors are a focal point in many bedrooms and bathrooms and, as their name implies, are typically installed above a vanity or bureau. A vanity mirror can be as attractive as it is functional, and in small areas, a well-placed mirror creates the illusion of more space. From antique to contemporary, vanity mirrors are available in a wide range of styles to fit any home decor. Because vanity mirrors provide a focal point, the proper installation of the mirror is just as important as finding the right style.
Make a center mark. Make a pencil mark on the wall to indicate where the center of the vanity mirror should be once it's hung. If the mirror will be hung over a vanity or similar piece of furniture, measure the length of the furniture to determine where the center is. The mark should be high enough to easily be used as a reference point later, when you're installing the mirror's hooks.
Check the weight of the mirror. For mirrors weighing more than 100 pounds, you need to make sure the wall can support the weight. Victorian-style vanity mirrors, which are popular choices for bedrooms and dressing rooms, are typically heavier than their modern counterparts.
Measure the picture wire. With the mirror sitting on the floor, pull up on the wire using your index fingers to judge how the wire will hang on two hooks, and then take a careful measurement of the space in between. The wider the distance, the more evenly the weight of the mirror will be distributed. If the mirror uses brackets rather than picture wire, measure the distance between the brackets.
Mark hook placement. Mark the wall where you will be placing your hooks, using the center mark you made earlier as your guide. Use a level to make sure the marks are straight.
Install hooks. Hammer in two J-hooks where you have placed the marks. For an exceptionally heavy mirror, use molly screws instead. Hang the mirror.
Make a center mark. Mark the spot on the wall where the mirror's center will be once it's hung.
Measure the mirror. Frameless-mirror assemblies typically include clips that are nailed or screwed into the wall, and the mirror is mounted on these clips with brackets or holes. You need to know the exact distance between the brackets or holes on the back of the mirror.
Mark clip placement. Mark the wall where each clip needs to be installed. Use a level to make sure your marks are even.
Install the clips. Most assemblies include the nails or screws for the clip installation.
Attach bumpers. Place four 2-inch strips of double-stick foam bumpers along each side of the mirror, approximately 6 inches from the edge, and then mount the mirror on the clips.
Double-stick foam bumpers may take off paint when they are removed. Do not use them if you are anticipating moving the vanity mirror.